The music isn't the only thing loud at Rolling Loud's third-annual music festival. The marijuana-themed hip-hop show spanned three days and brought out kids who spent their life savings on tickets, groupies who would do anything to get back stage, and stoners who stashed overpacked blunts in their socks. This year's festival drew more than 40,000 hypebeasts to Bayfront Park to see heavy hitters Kendrick Lamar, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, and rising local acts Denzel Curry, Wifi's Funeral, and XXXTentacion, who was recently released from jail.
Here are a few of our favorite acts so far:
“Do you want to hear some unreleased shit?” Meechy Darko's voice boomed into the crowd. “I said, do you want to hear some unreleased shit?” The beat dropped, and the mosh pit went wild for New York’s Flatbush Zombies. The trio composed of rappers Meechy Darko and Zombie Juice and producer Erick Arc Elliot paced back and forth onstage while chanting "unreleased shit" to an excited crowd at the Monster Stage. Zombie Juice reciprocated the crowd’s energy by tossing his rainbow dreads in the air, while Meechy screamed into the mike on the opposite side of the stage. So far, they were the only act to give new music to their fans at Rolling Loud. – Cristina Jerome
As soon as Curren$y made his way onto the Postmates Stage, concertgoers immediately whipped out their joints and let the good times roll. "It just started raining doobies with Jet Life in the building!" Curren$y exclaimed. Spitta is no stranger to Rolling Loud; in fact, it’s been a home away from home for him. After performing at the event for the past three years, there was no need for the New Orleans native to really go out on a limb to add shock value to his set. He treated it as if he was making a yearly visit to his extended family of fellow potheads. Although the smoke was dense, fans loyally gazed upon Spitta’s performance while he laid out his stoner raps in songs such as his popular rendition of “I Got 5 on It” and classic throwbacks like “Elevator Musik.” He even brought out his Jet Life brothers for a quick song before he closed his set. – Tony Centeno
Regardless of his recent beef with rapper Joe Budden, Lil Yachty was happy to be at Rolling Loud. This is the 19-year-old rapper’s second time at the festival, and he went harder than last time. Dressed in Nautica, the teenager rapped through a microphone with a screen at the bottom, giving the crowd his greatest hits, including "One Night," "Minnesota," and his latest single, "iSpy," featuring Kyle. Though there was less water thrown at this performance and more clear beads in his Cheetos-red hair compared to his show last year, Lil Yachty’s “Sailing Team” gave an unforgettable show. – Cristina Jerome
With all the amazing music he’s got in his arsenal, Mac Miller knows how to put together one hell of a show. As the first postsundown artist of the night, the Pittsburgh rapper truly shined in the multicolored lights that illuminated the Postmates Stage. Throughout his hourlong set, Mac sent the crowd on a roller-coaster ride of feel-good vibes via songs that were more than fitting for his first time performing at Rolling Loud. He broke off his Day 1 fans with memorable hits like “Weekend,” off his 2015 GO:OD AM album, and even took it back to his 2014 album, Faces, with “Dead Homies.” Eventually, the crowd got even more hype and started breaking it down with all kinds of dance moves the second Mac delivered “Dang!” (without Anderson .Paak, unfortunately) off his most recent album, The Divine Feminine. The explosive fire from the sides of the stage and a brief fireworks display kept his set live all the way until the end, when he closed out with one of his hardest records, “Loud.” – Tony Centeno
If you forgot Lil Wayne was the self-proclaimed “best rapper alive,” you were reminded during his set at Rolling Loud. As soon as the Cash Money Records rapper took the stage dressed in a long-sleeved white Gucci T-shirt and diamond chains brighter than your future, the crowd went wild knowing it was going to be a hell of a show. Lil Wayne was accompanied by a live drum set and his DJ to bring classic songs like "Lolipop," "A Mili," "Mr. Carter," and "Go DJ" alive. His bright-yellow dreadlocks swung back and forth while the crowd swayed to the beat, reliving the moments when Wayne ruled the rap scene. – Cristina Jerome
It’s safe to say A$AP Rocky had the most eventful set of the night at the Postmates Stage. The frontrunner of the A$AP Mob gave off nothing but mellow vibes when he opened up with “L$D.” As soon as the beat dropped, fireworks exploded and Rocky’s mindset evolved from a peaceful state into a hyperactive rage that had the entire crowd going wild. After the Harlem rapper performed “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2,” Rocky eventually brought out the A$AP Mob to perform a few of fan favorites, but nothing compared to the unforeseen highlight of the set: Rocky brought out Lil Yachy and Broward rapper XXXTentacion to turn up to XXX’s single “Look at Me!” The crowd lost it. Yachty ended up crowd-surfing with a bottle of Hennessy in hand. Rocky didn’t need the fireworks spectacular that signaled the end of his set; it was already the most lit set of the evening. – Tony Centeno
Action Bronson was so excited to be back at Rolling Loud that he almost dropped his blunt on the way onto the stage. His first performance at the festival in 2014 earned him a larger fan base, so a return of a familiar face only expanded his reach. Bronson has not released a full project since Mr. Wonderful in 2015; he's been busy producing two television shows on the Viceland channel: Fuck, That's Delicious and the comedy Traveling the Stars: Action Bronson and Friends Watch ‘Ancient Aliens.’ But the Rolling Loud crowd still sung along with the rapper even though he forgot the words to his own singles several times. Bronson controlled his set with a remote that played gunshots every time he pressed it. After about 73 gunshots, the crowd grew annoyed, but, hey, when will you see Action Bronson live onstage again? Also, shout out to the four women who flashed their breasts during his set. – Cristina Jerome
At the peak of the beautiful afternoon in Bayfront Park, DJ Don Krez officially introduced Wifisfuneral to attendees at the Postmates Stage. Once he made his grand entrance, Wifi immediately gained control of the audience. Fans instantly began chanting "aw, shit" and jumping up and down as soon as the instrumental for his 2016 single came on. The dope vibes continued throughout his set as Wifi performed a mixture of the crowd’s favorites and his top picks from his latest albums, such as “Grim” off the LP Black Heart Revenge and his verse on Danny Towers’ “Jackpot.” Though Wifi is from West Palm, he knows the underground scene in Dade County like the back of his tatted-up hands, so he knew the best way to surprise the crowd: Wifi brought out Fat Nick to help hype up the crowd even more and allowed him to perform his single “Brand New.” – Tony Centeno
It was the moment young hip-hop fans had been waiting for all weekend. Not long after being released from jail, XXXTentacion finally got his chance to perform live in front of the entire nation, and the crowd couldn’t get enough. Unlike his overshared mug shot, X came onstage looking like he had just left a barbecue at a community pool, but at least his unique black-and-blond dreads were tamed and braided tightly. He performed a couple of collaborations with $ki Mask the $lump God: “Take a Step Back” and “RIP Roach.” Amid all of the reckless moshing, with everything from water bottles to garbage cans flying around the audience, X spent most of the time hyping the crowd up for his Rolling Loud debut. And he wasn’t alone. X brought Robb Bank$ to perform their song “Innadat” and gave Denzel Curry another reason to return to the stage and perform together. Of course, X saved his most popular song — “Look at Me!” — for the end and even decided to crowd-surf throughout most of the track. – Tony Centeno
Joey Bada$$ has evolved from a young teenager spitting rhymes on his block in Brooklyn into an international rap star. The Pro Era frontrunner continued his wining streak on the Postmates Stage by performing several crowd favorites from his latest LP, All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$, such as “For the People” and “Land of the Free.” Concergoers closer to the front of the stage were hype to see Joey and the live band bring his latest hits to life, but attendees in the back had trouble hearing him because of minor sound issues. Still, Joey’s mike was on full blast when he paid homage to Capital Steez, who had passed away nearly four years earlier in New York City. Overall, Joey did everything right to make his set one to remember at Rolling Loud. – Tony Centeno
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Run the Jewels
Initially, ticketholders were disappointed when Run the Jewels replaced Tyler the Creator on Rolling Loud's original lineup announcement. But RTJ's performance changed their minds. The group composed of rapper/producer EI-P and rapper Killer Mike brought true hip-hop to the stage, giving mumble rappers a run for their money (and jewels). Their night started off with singles from their latest project, Run the Jewels 3, and if you were a real fan, you caught the throwbacks from their first album sprinkled in throughout their set. – Cristina Jerome
This year marked Young Thug's second appearance at Rolling Loud, but he probably should have quit while he was ahead. Thugger had a great 2016, releasing three mixtapes — I’m Up, Sime Season 3, and Jeffery — all of which displayed a variation in his unusual rap style. Attendees expected him to display the same energy onstage, but he didn’t quite deliver. The crowd still rapped along to his lyrics, but most seemed pissed they left Kendrick Lamar’s performance at the Postmates Stage for this one. He could've have made his performance better if he had rocked the baby-blue dress he effortlessly "slayed" on his last project. – Cristina Jerome